No 124 Well-tempered Clavier 4

Fri 15th June 2018  »  8:00 pm
Kongresshalle, Weißer Saal
Mendelssohn at the Bach Festival

J. S. Bach: Preludes and Fugues, BWV 858–869, from the Wohltemperierten Klavier, part I · F. Mendelssohn Bartholdy: Sieben Charakterstücke, op. 7

Robert Levin (piano)

Ticket prices: € 44,00 | 37,00
reduced: € 38,00 | 32,00

The preludes and fugues of »The Well-Tempered Clavier« by Johann Sebastian Bach have been described in all kinds of extraordinary ways over the course of time: Robert Schumann called them the »work of all works«, the music historiographer Friedrich Rellstab »the first and most enduring of what the German nation has to show by way of musical works of art«, while Hans von Bülow was even prompted to make an emphatic comparison, referring to it as the »piano player’s Old Testament«. Although these epithets are certainly expressed with Romantic exuberance, the fundamental message is accurate: Bach’s »Well-Tempered Clavier« is an outstanding collection of works in every respect that has shaped generations of piano players. In two cycles, it covers all major and minor keys of the circle of fifths, with one prelude and one fugue each, while at the same time Bach presents a fascinating kaleidoscope of styles and forms. »The Well-Tempered Clavier« is one of relatively few works by Bach that received a wide recognition during the composer’s lifetime, as well as in the decades immediately following his death. Numerous copies and prints of excerpts from the cycles circulated in major music centres of the German-speaking world. Important composers of the past three hundred years found inspiration for new works in Bach’s collection; they include Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, Frédéric Chopin and Dmitri Shostakovich.